[bct] Re: starting my own podcast

  • From: "Ray Foret Jr." <rforetjr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 23:16:42 -0600

Well, I'm going to have to contradict Jamie here a little.  I've been using 
Minidisc ever since I got in to digital recording.  The setup I use can store 
up to 45 hours of stereo audio if you record using the Sonic stage software 
(which in my case is version 3.0) and up to 34 hours per disc if you do what I 
do which is record directly using the machine.  It's really not hard to 
memorize the menu system of Sony machines because they are set up so that every 
time you press the menu button, you're taken back to the first item of the 
first menu.  I've been using the Sony MZR-H910 ever since just before katrina.  
It's a great little recorder and I have no issues editing racks, track markers 
and so forth.

Sincerely yours,
The Constantly Barefoot,
Home phone and fax:
Skype Name:
God bless President George W. Bush!
God bless our troops!
and God bless America
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Debee Norling 
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 11:08 PM
Subject: [bct] Re: starting my own podcast

I personally love minidisc recorders but they have quite a few drawbacks. Like 
Jamie said, you'd have to copy (dub) recordings to the PC before you could edit 
and/or convert them to MP3s. Second, most of them have a very involved menu 
system you need to memorize if you are visually impaired, and even if you can 
see some,the little LCD displays aren't easy to read.

I always have a giant pile of minidiscs that I'm forever bugging my sightedb 
husband to erase for me, because I never remember the menu sequence to do it. 
Or I get one keystroke wrong and delete a single track instead of an entire 

If you are good at menus, you can indeed edit on the recorder directly, by 
inserting or removing tracks and adding or deleting track marks. I have four MD 
recorders, and I can only reliably edit on one of them.

Also don't believe the advertising about being able to use the USB port on the 
newer ones to upload your recordings to your PC. There are a lot of gotchas, 
and even downloading music to them is a pain.

But here's what I love about MD.  The sound is awesome. Some people believe 
that Atrac, the compression scheme used on minidisc is better than MP3. I 
certainly like it better than WMA.

Also I love the idea that you can have a big pile of minidiscs with stuff on 
them. With most digital recorders, you record something, and that fills the 
memory or the flash card, and you need to clear it out before you can record 
something else. If it uses flash cards you can buy more but that gets pricey.

But minidiscs are relatively cheap, a bit under a dollar apiece if you shop 
around. And they hold 80 minutes of high-quality stereo, or about five hours of 
low-quality stereo and several modes in between. So if, say you go to a seminar 
and it lasts a week, you just carry a stack of minidiscs and you don't have to 
think about clearing out the recorders's memory to make room for more recording.

I number my minidiscs 101, 102 etc. then just keep notes in my computer about 
what's recorded on each one. This way I make braille lables for them only once 
even though their content changes frequently.

I also like the idea that most portable recorders that use MD use reasonable 
double-A batteries, and can often recharge NIMH ones. I also do like the 
editing features. If part of a recording is unwanted, I put a track mark at the 
start, a track mark at the end and delete the offending track! Track marks are 
good too when you listen back because you can mark where you left off easily.

Most MD recorders have manuals that don't scan well, and though available in 
PDF, the key names are graphics so they aren't screen reader friendly. You end 
up needing to get a human to read you the manual. 

Minidisc is becoming less popular so the recorders can be found cheaply on 
ebay. IRTI still sells the MZB-100 which is supposed to be reall accessible; I 
wish I had one in the worst way.

You can find more about everything minidisc at:


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